Just after lunch on Saturday 27th June, 2015, I headed out to activate two parks for the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award and the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program: Kyeema and Cox Scrub. I had activated both parks previously as part of the VK5 Parks Award, but not for WWFF. Both parks have recently been added to the WWFF program, so these were going to be two WWFF unique parks for me. The first activation was the Kyeema Conservation Park, VKFF-826.
Kyeema Conservation Park is located about 60 km south of Adelaide, between Meadows and Willunga.
For more information on the park and info on my three previous activations, please have a look at my previous posts…..
The park is just a short 25 minute drive from home, through to Echunga and on to Meadows, and then along the Brookman Road towards Willunga. I turned into Woodgate Hill Road and followed the southern boundary of the park. I have previously activated the park from the main carpark area on Woodgate Hill Road. I was hoping to activate the park from a different location this time, so I looked at a few of the DEWNR gates along Woodgate Hill Road. However they were all locked and this involved scrambling over barbed wire fences. I travelled further east until I reached Blackfellows Creek Road, but could not find another suitable spot to access the park, so I decided to head to the normal spot.
Above:- Map showing my operating location. Map courtesy of mapcarta.com
Just as I was pulling up into the park I spoke with Tony VK3VTH from my mobile. Tony was portable in Werribee Gorge State Park, VKFF-775 and had a lovely 5/9 signal coming into the mobile. I had a quick chat with Tony and told him I was about to set up. I didn’t want Tony disappearing to 20m.
So I quickly set up my gear, the Yaesu FT-857d, and the 20m/40m linked dipole, supported on the 7 metre squid pole. Sadly, I had not checked the 44 amp hour power pack before leaving home, and it was down a little in charge. So for this activation I ran 20 watts.
After turning on the radion I tuned to 7.095 and there was Tony VK3VTH calling CQ. So I gave Tony a shout and was very pleased to have Tony in my log as number one contact from VKFF-775 to VKFF-826. I then went down to 7.090 and called CQ and this immediately resulted in a mini pile up. First taker was Peter VK3ATC, followed by Mick VK3PMG, and then Gerard VK2IO. The pile up continued with numerous callers from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5, all with exceptional signals.
And amongst all the callers I hear Rob’s voice, VK4FFAB who was portable in Venman Busland National Park, VKFF-507 (5/5 both ways). I was very pleased to get another VKFF park in the log.
I also took a break from the pileup, and called for QRP stations and this resulted in calls from Greg VK5GJ running 4 watts (5/7 both ways), Ron VK3APC running 5 watts (5/7 sent and 5/8 received), and Steve VK2LAD running 3 watts (5/6 sent and 5/7 received).
I went on to work a further 13 stations in VK1, VK3, and VK5, including David VK5PL (formerly VK5NQP) who has recently upgraded to the Advanced call. Congratulations David. And also Frank VK2BFC (formerly VK2HFS). Well done to you as well Frank.
I was then called by my third VKFF park for this activation. This time it was Ian VK1DI who was portable in Percival Hill Nature Reserve, VKFF-859. This is one of the new 33 Canberra Nature Reserves added to the WWFF program. And it was a unique park for me to add to my Hunter list.
A few QSO’s later I was called by Col VK5HCF who was portable in the Penambol Conservation Park, VKFF-802 in the South East of South Australia. Col was an exceptionally good 5/9 signal coming in to the Fleurieu Peninsula. I was also called by husband and wife team, Joe VK3YSP and Julie VK3FOWL, who were operating portable at the Melbourne Museum as part of Museums Weekend. Although Joe and Julie were running QRP 5 watts, they were an excellent 5/9 into Kyeema.
My last contact on 40m was with Nick VK3ANL who was activating SOTA peak, Mount Little Joe, VK3/ VC-027. Nick was a good 5/7 signal. I left the frequency for Nick, and I headed off to 20m, hoping to get some DX in the log. I called CQ on 14.310 and this was immediately answered by Luciano, I5FLN in Italy. Not sure whether Luciano had seen me spotted on parksnpeaks, or was monitoring this frequency, but he was there straight after letting go of the mic, which was a really pleasant surprise. Another CQ call was answered by Max IK1GPG in Italy, and then Mike VK6MB who was portable in Karijini National Park, VKFF-257 (5/3 sent and 5/5 received).
I had a good flow of callers on 20m from Slovenia, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Corsica (a new one for me whilst portable), USA, VK1, VK2, VK4, and VK5. My last 2 contacts on 20m were also VKFF reference areas. Ian VK1DI in VKFF-859 gave me a call, and this was followed by Fred VK4FE portable in Mowbray National Park, VKFF-367.
For more information on Ian VK1DI’s activation, check out his blog at…..
I went on to work a total of 17 stations on 20m, before I decided it was time to pack up and head off to Cox Scrub Conservation Park. It was 3.00 p.m. South Australian local time.
This was another very successful activation, with a total of 71 contacts in the log.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB:-
- VK3VTH/p (VKFF-775)
- VK4FFAB/p (Venman Bushland National Park, VKFF-507)
- VK1DI/p (Percival Hill Nature Reserve, VKFF-859)
- VK5HCF/p (Penambol CP, VKFF-802)
- VK3YSP/p (Melbourne Museum)
- VK3FOWL/p (Melbourne Museum)
- VK3ANL/p (SOTA VK3/ VC-027)
The following stations were worked on 20m SSB:-
- VK6MB/p (VKFF-257)
- VK1DI/p (Percival Hill Nature Park, VKFF-859)
- VK4FE/p (Mowbray National Park, VKFF-367)